Former Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama has officially announced his exit from the national team, Harambee Stars. Wanyama had been captain since 2013, when he replaced Dennis Oliech.
Victor Wanyama retires from International football
Wanyama had been captain since 2013.
Wanyama's exclusion from the national team during the final 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers matches against Togo and Egypt as well as recent 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Uganda and Rwanda led to speculation that the Lion of Muthurwa was set to announce his retirement.
His time in the team appeared to be over when former coach Jacob 'Ghost' Mulee announced that the Qatar based Michael Olunga as the new captain.
Wanyama who has been dominating the headlines at his Canadian club, Montreal broke his silence over his omission from the national team in a long but emotional twitter post.
"Growing up, it was always my dream to get the chance to represent my country. With a great deal of pride, I can say that i have been fortunate to live my dream.
From making my debut against Nigeria to captaining the team at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt-these past 14 years have gone beyond what I ever thought possible.
We have shared great moments together and I am proud to have been your captain and leader.
But all good things must come to an end eventually; and after long consideration, I have made really difficult decision to retire from international football," said the midfielder in a communique posted on his social media pages.
Kenya's next assignment
Wanyama's decision to call it a day comes at a time when everyone was guessing whether new Stars head coach Engin Firat would recall him for the World Cup back to back qualifiers against Mali next week.
The Turkish coach who succeeded Ghost is expected to name his squad to face the West Africans who lead the group with four points, two ahead of Stars who shared spoils against the neighbours.
Apart from announcing his departure from the team, the former Celtic midfielder didn't hide his intentions of offering his leadership skills at Kandanda House but did not specify whether he will be running for office.
Wanyama who will be fondly be remembered for leading the team to return to AFCON in 2019 after almost fifteen years in the cold assured the team of his support going forward.
"The time has come to hand over the team to the next generation so that they too can make their mark and help our country reach even greater heights. I hope to return one day to help the federation off the field but until then, I will still be the Stars biggest supporter and I will be cheering you guys on from the sidelines," added the communique.